Government will add to NS council

Elections will be Thursday night

Government will eventually add two people to the North Side District Council Board to be elected Thursday night.

Since the last elections were held, lawmakers have approved an Advisory District Council Law, which makes it mandatory for the Governor in Cabinet to appoint each district council’s chairman, vice-chairman, secretary, treasurer and up to six other people, at least two of whom are recommended by the Leader of the Opposition.

North Side District Council Chairman Alex Johnson said she had spoken to Premier McKeeva Bush about the new law and how it would affect what North Siders have been doing.

“He told me he was pleased that our council was running well and how we were being successful,” she said.

She said Mr. Bush didn’t have a problem with it, other than the fact that Government would have to put someone on the board and the opposition party would have to pick someone.

The 8pm meeting Thursday, 31 March, at the Craddock Ebanks Civic Centre follows an election that had been scheduled 10 March.

It did not take place because only 14 people attended the meeting; they agreed to postpone choosing officers because they wanted a wider cross-section of the community to take part.

Former MLA Edna Moyle wondered at the time if people were put off by the new law.

North Side resident Lowell Panton asked if Cabinet would be willing to appoint the people elected by the district.

MLA Ezzard Miller told that gathering he had voted against the law, noting he is not a member of either political party.

Pioneers in the district council concept, North Side residents formed their first council shortly after the General Elections in May 2009.

The council was considered to be all of the residents who attended meetings, with elected officers known as the executive board. Mr. Miller had espoused district councils as one of his campaign issues.

Mrs. Johnson was elected first district council chairman. “We don’t bring party politics into the council,” she emphasised at the meeting on 10 March.

The most well-known achievement of the North Side District Council is probably the installation of CCTV cameras at various locations in the district to deter crime.

Other projects have included summer camps, a district hurricane plan, a newsletter, a Fix-It Day to clean, repair and paint the civic centre, involvement in Pirates Week and a Christmas programme in 2009 that honoured North Side achievers.

Archie Whittaker, who manages the MLA’s office, said flyers have been distributed encouraging people to come to the election meeting Thursday night.

He noted he had been to every congregation in the district, explaining the need for residents’ participation in the council meetings. The response from almost everyone he talked to was that they wanted strong people on their council board, he reported.

Council meetings are open to all residents and anyone with an affiliation that contributes to the development of the community.

“They can’t change anything if they stay home,” Mr. Whittaker pointed out. “And if they stay home they can’t complain about what does or doesn’t happen.”

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